I’m chilling, man. I’m in the studio, just working.
When you made the beat for 50 Cent’s “Amusement Park,” did you know you had a hit?
Man, I feel like that with most every record that I do, man. There are some records that you feel are going to be special and that was definitely one of them.
Are you happy with the fans’ response to "Amusement Park"?
I think the response could have been a little bit bigger, but I’m blessed to have a record out there that’s doing its numbers. Last week it was No. 1 on 106 and Park. I’m just happy.
Can you take us through the making of the beat?
No. It’s the same thing with the team. We just go in and make beats. We just go in and make a bunch of stuff and that just happened to come out the way it did. There really wasn’t an approach to it. We approach every record the same way. We try to make a hit every time out.
Jim Jones also had the beat to “Amusement Park” for his song “Your Majesty.” How did that happen?
There’s really no story behind that. What happened was that the beat got out to him. I never gave him the track. I’ve never sold him a beat and unfortunately it went down the way it went down. But the record still came out and we’re doing what we have to do.
So you sent a beat CD out to someone else and Jim Jones ended up with it?
Yeah. That’s basically how it went down. I never really say that they took it. This is just the game we’re in. You get niggas’ albums four months before it comes out. The beat can be passed through whomever. I’m not going to point the finger. We can just continue to make music. But I have never sold Jim Jones a beat. Would I do business with him and sell records? Yeah, I would. If he feels I can provide him with that heat, then let’s get the business popping. Other than that, it is what it is at this point.
Although you’ve done a lot of work with 50 Cent, can you work with other rappers who 50 may not be cool with?
At the end of the day, I’m my own individual. 50’s like a mentor to me. I’m not going to do anything to disrespect that situation because he gave me a lot of opportunities when I had the same fire that I have now. This is my seventh record over there and I had five singles. I’m also a businessman. If the business is right behind the situation, then we handle business.
Will you be more careful in the future when sending out beat CDs?
Oh yeah, man. You have to learn from any mistake. It’s not even about him. It’s about anytime you make a mistake, you try to move differently your next time out. I’m not upset at the same time, because a lot of times I’ve been looking for recognition for doing tracks and I got so much attention off of this, off of negativity. So I’m not mad at the same time either, because with the bad came the good, because I never got the notoriety that I needed. Would I want to go down this path again? No. Am I upset at the situation? No. Because look, I’m talking to you. I didn’t talk to you from my last four or five hits.
Is your recognition overdue?
Oh, it’s long overdue. It’s long overdue. I’ve been doing this for a minute. I’m one of the few producers who got their own artist signed. Deemi is over at Atlantic Records. Then I went over and got “Disco Inferno,” “Window Shopper” and “In My Hood.” I’ve had those records, but I never had the notoriety to boost me into the forefront. Now I’m getting that, so it’s cool. I’m amongst the players now. Now it’s about what I do afterwards.
Do you have more pressure on you now to make hit songs?
If there is, I work best under pressure. I don’t feel it, but if there is, I’ll continually do what I do. I’m not going to switch up how I make music. I’m going to make music and do what I do to the best of my ability. Other than that, I’m good.
What’s it like working with 50 Cent?
We get in the studio and sometimes we send songs back and forth. I’ve been around 50 a lot and I take advantage of my situation. I have a song deal over at G-Unit and I make sure that I’m visible and that I’m around. Dude is one of the best songwriters around.
50 Cent is known for working in the studio without the producer. What’s it like working in the studio with him?
Like I said, he’s one of the best writers around. He’s one of the coolest dudes around. It’s crazy. The person you probably perceive the homie to be is not that person. He’s a dude to give you a lot of insight to the game and how to go about doing certain things. I appreciate that. We shoot back ideas and all that. He’s just a good dude. He’s probably one of the best writers out there. He also gave me an opportunity to work with LL on his new project and to get some things brewing. You can’t take nothing away from him.
Do you guys go back and forth on tracks with criticism?
No. Everything is cool. There ain’t no issues like that. There are definitely no issues like that. He knows what he likes and you go from there. When you produce for him, you try to give him joints that he likes. If I was working with Britney Spears right now, I would make sure I give her joints that she likes. It’s the same thing.
How’s 50 Cent’s new album Curtis coming so far?
From the joints that I’ve heard, it’s crack. I have another song on there called “Destiny.” From the joints that I heard, he has a classic album coming. He has a lot of good features on there and a lot of big records. It’s a dope album.
From what you’ve heard so far, is this his best work to date?
Yeah. I think he definitely stepped his game up.
What kind of impact will Curtis have?
For me, hopefully a good one because the publishing check will be crazy. The state the record business is in now, you don’t know. But for my sake, I’m going to pray that it’s a good thing. But 50 is not the only thing I have going on.
How’s LL Cool J’s new album coming?
LL’s definitely the truth. It’s “Mama Said Knock You Out 2007.” It’s definitely that album. He definitely switched up on them.
You’re also working on M.O.P.’s new album. How’s that coming?
Billy’s that dude. He’s a good dude, man. Those dudes are going to do what they do all the time. What M.O.P. gives you, that’s what they do and it’s still that. It’s the same thing. It’s not going to change. Those dudes are fire.
As a fan, do you think that album will ever come out?
I’m sure. Me, personally, I’m never going to shed no negative light or rumors. Why wouldn’t it come out? I don’t know. They’re making incredible music.
How important has Sha Money XL been to your career?
He’s been crucial. He was the first to put one of my beats in 50’s hands, which turned into “In My Hood.” That started all of the hits. He manages me now.
DV Alias Khryst is best known for his work with Smoothe Da Hustler and Trigger Tha Gambler. Why did you see in him to sign him to Dangerous LLC?
Because I think everybody in the music is business should be doing what Khryst has been doing, as far as the singing and the rapping thing. Khryst has been doing that since he was 15 and he’s 29 now. He was signed to Def Jam at 16. I’ve known Khryst since he was 15. He’s been doing what he’s doing since I knew him. There are a lot of artists doing what he’s doing, and that’s just massaging everybody for Khryst, because when he comes, he’s going to explode all over the place.
How’s his album coming?
We’re looking for 2008. We’re just lining up his features right now. We got him with M.O.P., Redman, Maino, Uncle Murder, 50, Cassidy and Lil’ Mo. We’re just lining them up real nice. That’s what it’s about. And then when everything is lined up, everyone will be like, ‘Oh, shit. DV is back.’
Will Smoothe and Trigger be on the album?
I think that’s a must. You at least have to get one. That’s what started it. Everybody still talks, so I don’t think that’s an impossible task. I just want the labels to understand that we’re coming. Everybody’s starting to adapt to what he’s doing and they’re starting to call for choruses and things like that. It’s going to happen, so you can either open your checkbooks now or open them later.
How’s Deemi’s album Soundtrack of my Life coming?
The project is seven years in the making. It’s really the soundtrack of her life, and I mean from when I found her seven years ago. First we kind of went in and made the “I love you” and “be my boyfriend” records, but that wasn’t really Deemi. We talked and decided it was best if she talked about what she went through every day. The first time I met her, I was wearing a bulletproof vest when I came into her neighborhood. When I met her, she was on welfare and had two kids and just to see her rise up out of that is incredible. Just to give the world her story from coming from a place where normal people would be like, ‘Damn, that’s real messed up’ is a real positive. It’s turning a negative into a positive. It’s a success story and we want to give her success story to the world.
You’re also scoring the biopic for Wendy Williams’ biopic. How’s that coming?
That’s going pretty good. We’re in the early stages right now. We’re looking at what she wants. I’m just excited to do it. I’ve been trying to tell people, man, that it doesn’t matter if I’m trying to produce a record or score a movie. I can do anything. You just have to give me the opportunity to do it.
Do you change your approach when working on R&B versus rap?
Yes and no. Me, as a producer, everything has to have a rhythm and melody to it. When it’s hip-hop, we want to put a melody in it so that artists can catch that bounce. With Deemi, it’s a little different because she kind of sings like she’s rapping, in a sense. Her style on some of the records that we do is like a singing/rapping type thing and it works.
We can do everything over here. We can do hip-hop, R&B, pop music and anything else. My crew is very diverse. I keep telling people, I’m the Berry Gordy of this. I’m the 2007 Berry Gordy. I’m the new Puff. I’m the new Jermaine Dupri. What I do is unique. I got a bunch of dudes that play certain instruments and put them together and fused Dangerous LLC. This is 2007 Motown over here. This is what I do.
What do you have to do to have Dangerous LLC mentioned in the same breath as the Pharrell’s and Just Blaze’s?
What I’m doing now is I’m really concentrating on the artists I have over here, which is Deemi and Khryst. We’re working on Dawne’s deal as we speak. It’s going real good. Puff and Jermaine came with their own squad. I’m trying to brand our team and our artists because I feel they’re refreshing and new and what the game needs right now.
How do the producers and musicians in Dangerous LLC work on tracks?
The teamwork is good. First of all, we keep God first. We always do. God is going to keep everything together. There may be things we don’t like, but we move with God first so everything always falls back into faith. I’m the conductor of this ship, so it’s my job to keep it that way.
How did you put Dangerous LLC together?
I looked for talent. Sometimes I looked for certain things, and sometimes it was just it. I’m a real spiritual dude and God aligned me around dudes that I need to be around to do business with. If some business didn’t work out, it’s because God didn’t want it to work out for me. Most of my dudes played, from the organ to the flute, violin, bass, guitar and cello. They’ve played a collection of instruments. My thing is I could pull samples all day, but I’d rather make things from scratch and have dudes sample from me 10 or 20 years from now. It’s happening already. Bow Wow sampled “Disco Inferno” from me.
What equipment do you use?
All those instruments and the Triton, the MPC 2000 and 4000 and Pro Tools.
Are you looking to sign more artists?
That’s what I’m about. I want to break new acts. That’s what I’m trying to do. But it has to be something special. It can’t just be anything. When I find something special, that’s the one we’re going to roll with. That’s why it took me so long to get a rapper. That’s why I got Khryst. People were telling me we needed a rapper. I wish I could let out a couple of these Khryst records right now. We’re going to release one in the next couple of weeks. It’s coming.
What do you listen for when you listen to new artists?
A lot of drive, ambition, dedication and somebody who can take constructive criticism. I look for somebody who’s ready to go back to the drawing board if things aren’t right. I look for somebody who’s ready to be broke and is willing to grind out and make it happen. This game is not what people perceive it to be. There are a lot of hardships in this. I went home a lot of nights where the rent wasn’t paid and things weren’t in order to get to where I’m at now. You can’t expect it to come like that. I’m going to make you work for everything you get so you can respect it later on.
Where do you want Dangerous LLC to be a year from now?
One of the marquee names in production. When you hear “Dr. Dre” and everyone else, I want people to say “Dangerous LLC” along with it.
What advice would you offer to up-and-coming producers?
Learn how to take an L, but take the right L that’s going to propel you into the right situation.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Keep God first in everything that you do. And what I want to say to the labels is, “Start opening your eyes and recognizing what I’m doing, because the fees are real low right now.” Even at Interscope, I would love to be working with Jimmy. I gave their biggest rap artist some of the biggest tracks that he’s had. It’s time to open up the doors and let me play over there. They’re a producer label. Dangerous LLC is in the building.
And Rest In Peace to Stack Bundles.